How to provision and deploy the PnP SharePoint Starter Kit part two

Update: The SharePoint Starter Kit is now a solution that’s available to apply from the SharePoint Online Provisioning Service:
https://provisioning.sharepointpnp.com/

This is second part of my two-part series on how to provision and deploy the SharePoint starter kit into your SharePoint tenant. You can read part one below:

How to provision and deploy the SharePoint Starter Kit part one

At this point all the pre-requirement steps should be completed, our Office 365 tenant should have an app catalog site, a dev site collection and a custom user profile service property.

Download the SharePoint Stater Kit

In order to deploy the SharePoint Starter Kit to your tenant you will need to clone or download a copy of the repository. I downloaded a copy of the repository and followed the steps below:

Downloading the SharePoint Starter Kit

Deploy the SharePoint Starter Kit

Now for the fun part…deploying the SharePoint Starter Kit to your tenant! Before you begin, make sure you have run the following cmdlet to connect to your tenant:

Connect-PnPOnline https://contosodemosk.sharepoint.com

  • Change the path in PowerShell to the location where your SP Starter Kit provisioning folder is located

Set-Location -Path C:\sp-starter-kit-master\provisioning

  • Finally, in PowerShell run the following command

Apply-PnPTenantTemplate -Path starterkit.pnp

Deploying the SharePoint Starter Kit in PowerShell

Once the SharePoint Starter Kit has concluded it will provision 3 site collections as well as other tenant level settings like themes, site designs and taxonomy term sets. You will be able to access all the site collections and web parts deployed through the starter kit in your tenant either through the new SharePoint admin center or through the SharePoint app in Office 365.

References

https://github.com/SharePoint/sp-starter-kitSharePoint Starter Kit repository from GitHub

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/dev/spfx/set-up-your-development-environmentsteps to install the required developer tools from Microsoft

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/sharepoint/sharepoint-pnp/sharepoint-pnp-cmdlets?view=sharepoint-pssteps to install PnP PowerShell from Microsoft

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/dev/spfx/set-up-your-developer-tenant – setting up your Office 365 tenant to build and deploy client-side web parts using the SharePoint Framework from Microsoft

https://github.com/SharePoint/sp-starter-kit/blob/master/documentation/tenant-settings.mdcreating the new user profile property/ requesting API key to Alpha Vantage from GitHub

https://github.com/SharePoint/sp-starter-kit/tree/master/provisioningPowerShell commands and minimal path to success from GitHub

https://github.com/SharePoint/sp-starter-kit/blob/master/documentation/common-provision-results.mdPre-requirement steps added from general cascading errors from GitHub

Microsoft 365 update for January 2019

After a brief hiatus here’s all the best bits of the Microsoft 365 update covering all the latest enhancements and updates to Microsoft Office 365.

Make sure you watch the video in full here: https://aka.ms/m365update-youtube

Improvements to Microsoft Teams

Shifts in Teams

Teams is introducing a new app called Shifts, which allows managers to plan, create and adjust their team’s schedules. Team members can also update their availability, review schedules, and request time off. Shifts replaces much of the functionality in Microsoft StaffHub, which is scheduled to be retired in October of 2019.

New Shifts app in Microsoft Teams

Custom navigation options

Everyone likes to use the tools within Teams differently. Now with the new customizable navigation experience Teams users on mobile devices, you can edit the navigation menu to prioritise the most important features that suit you. You will also soon be able to share you location information and record audio messages through the Teams app.

left: customising the navigation, centre: share location, right: record audio in Teams app

Find out more

Microsoft Stream plus forms integration

Stream is becomming more closely integrated with Forms which will allow you to seemlessly add quizzes, surveys, and polling right into the video. The results from these forms would be available to analyze to help improve the video content.

Stream will also be available to embed within PowerPoint presentations, along with all other video platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo.

The Stream app for iOS is now available along with the android version.

Stream with forms integration

Find out more

New Yammer conversations webpart for SharePoint

New to the long list of readily available webparts in SharePoint is Yammer Conversations. You can include conversations from any Yammer group, topic, user or home feed onto just about any SharePoint page, news article, or site.

Yammer conversations webpart

Find out more

SharePoint Migration Tool generally available

The SharePoint Migration Tool is now in general availability, which along with the SharePoint Migration Assessment Tool, these free tools are key to helping move forward the journey to Microsoft 365.

This free solution migrates content from on-premises SharePoint sites and file shares to SharePoint Online or OneDrive in Office 365.

SharePoint and Nintex workflows failing on start pt.2 **FULLY RESOLVED**

It’s back again…a few months ago a wrote about my experiences with workflows failing on start after a .NET security update that was applied. You can read that post here:

SharePoint and Nintex workflows failing on start

Recently, the same .NET security update was applied to our SharePoint 2010 farm, which in turn caused the failing on start error to present itself again across all the workflows in the farm.

After identifing the issue soon after the update was applied, we decided to follow the same tact as before and roll back the patches, restart the servers and re-test the workflows – However, this time the results were different.

What was different?

Previously, rolling back the security update and any other patches added during this time, plus restarting the servers “fixed” the issue. This time, the same process did not yeald the same results and the workflows were still broken.

After performing the steps above, we observed that standard SharePoint workflows with a pause started to run sucessfully again, but Nintex workflows with a pause step either failed on start, or completed but errored after the pause step and sent an error notification.

Example 1 of nintex workflow with pause step failing on start
Example 2 of nintex workflow with pause step erroring, but completing

How we fixed it…

So this time we followed the updated step-by-step guide provided below on how to update the web.config files and OWS timer files via Add-CodeDomAuthorizedTypeToOWSTimerConfig.ps1 PowerShell script on the SharePoint Application server.


https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/rodneyviana/2018/10/12/step-by-step-video-on-how-to-fix-the-sharepoint-workflow/

We ran the script as recommended, which re-added the assemblies and dependancies to the OWSTimer config file and the web.config files on associated web servers and this in fact fixed the issue! As the script does an IIS reset/ Timer Job recycle we didnt even need to restart the servers!

I hope the that tidbit regarding the nintex workflow pauses helps someone else 🙂

How to provision and deploy the PnP SharePoint Starter Kit part one

Update: The SharePoint Starter Kit is now a solution that’s available to apply from the SharePoint Online Provisioning Service:
https://provisioning.sharepointpnp.com/

This is the first of a two-part series on how to provision and deploy the SharePoint starter kit into your SharePoint tenant. Part-two of this series can be found below:

How to provision and deploy the PnP SharePoint Starter Kit part two

Although there is plenty of great documentation out there already (I’ll also reference and link to said documentation throughout) I wanted to provide a comprehensive step-by-step guide for those with little or no experience of SharePoint Framework, PnP Powershell or anything else with the least amount of steps required to get the SharePoint starter kit up and running in a Office 365 tenant.

I followed the all of the steps below to get the SP starter kit working in my environment:

Pre- requirements

Make sure that all of the pre-requirements below have been met to ensure that the SharePoint Starter Kit will work in your tenant.

  • Ensure you are connecting to the tenant account using an administrator account
  • Your tenant must be set to targeted release for all users, and you must wait at least 24 hours after setting targeted release before deploying SP Starter Kit
  • Check that the account being used has been added as a term store administrator

LINK: setting up the targeted release option in Office 365

Install developer tools and setup SharePoint Framework dev environment

Before you can get started with the starter kit, you need a SharePoint Framework development environment, this consists of:

  • Install NodeJS LTS version 8
  • Install a code editor – I used Visual Studio Code
  • Install Yeoman and gulp – I installed these using the command prompt
  • Install Yeoman SharePoint generator – as above
  • Install PnP PowerShell – you need to be running Windows 10 or have PowerShellGet installed to run these commands. I’m running Windows 10, so I just ran the Install-Module SharePointPnPPowerShellOnline in PowerShell as an administrator
  • Run Update-Module SharePointPnPPowerShell* to make sure its the latest version

LINK: setting up the SharePoint Framework development environment
LINK: Installing PnP PowerShell
LINK: updating the PnP PowerShell version

Office 365 tenant configuration

Once you have been through the pre-requirement steps, configured your environment for SharePoint Framework development and you are using the latest version of PnP PowerShell, you now can move onto the tenant configuration steps:

Create an app catalog site

  • In the SP admin center, on the left sidebar select the apps menu item, then select app catalog
  • Press OK to create a new app catalog site
Select app catalog from the apps menu option
  • Enter the following details
    • Title: app catalog
    • Web Site Address suffix: enter your preferred suffix for the app catalog; for example: apps
    • Administrator: enter your username, and then select the resolve button to resolve the username
  • Press OK

Create a new developer site collection

In the SharePoint admin center, in the ribbon select New > Private Site Collection. Enter the following details:

  • Title: Enter a title for your developer site collection; for example: Developer Site
  • Web Site Address suffix: Enter a suffix for your developer site collection; for example: dev
  • Template Selection: Select Developer Site as the site collection template
  • Administrator: Enter your username, and then select the resolve button to resolve the username
  • Press OK

Remember the SharePoint Workbench URL

SharePoint Workbench enables you to be able to test and preview web parts without fully deploying them into your SharePoint environment. You can access the SharePoint Workbench by using the following URL:

https://your-sharepoint-site/_layouts/workbench.aspx

LINK: Office 365 tenant configuration steps

Create a custom property in the User Profile Service

In the SP admin center, on the left sidebar select the user profiles menu item, then under People, select Manage User Properties

Select manage User Properties from the User Profiles menu option
  • Select New Property from the ribbon options
Select New Property

Configure the new property with the following settings:

  • Name: PnP-CollabFooter-MyLinks
  • Display name: PnP-CollabFooter-MyLinks
  • Type: string (Single Value)
  • Length: 3600 (which is the maximum allowed)
  • Policy Setting: Optional
  • Allow users to edit values for this property: Checked
  • Leave all the other properties with their default value

LINK: preparing your tenant for the PnP SharePoint Starter Kit

Request a custom API key to Alpha Vantage

The API key from Alpha Vantage uses the live stocks service in the Stock Information Web Part. This is not a mandatory step, but I’ve included it for completeness for the starter kit:

In part two I’ll cover downloading the SharePoint Starter Kit, deploying it to your tenant and testing everything has worked.